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NWF Green Hour

Commentary on what parents should know about and can do to counteract common "nature deficit disorders" in our TV-watching, video game-playing children including encouraging a daily "Green Hour" of outside play and learning. A program of the National Wildlife Federation

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Study Finds that Kid's Unstructured Time is Down 50%

The organization, Playing for Keeps, (discussed earlier in this blog) is a strong proponent of the concept of "constructive play." They define constructive play" as safe, wholesome and non-violent activity tyhat helps kids develop skills and positive relationships and inspired them to be creative and to learn more about themselves and the world around them. Playing for Keeps has assembled some compelling facts that are worth repeating about what is really happening to children in our electronic world. Consider:

* Unstructured outdoor activities declined by 50 percent compared to the previous generation.

* More than 80 percent of children under age 2 and more than 60 percent ages 2-5 do not have access to daily outdoor play.

* The average American home with a toddler has the TV on six hours a day.

* The average 2-year-old spends more than four hours a day in front of a TV or computer screen.

* One in six 2-year-olds has a TV in his or her bedroom.

Learn more about the work and aspirations of Playing for Keeps


Videos Preferred Over Actual Visits to National Parks

The phenomenon of people preferring sedentary, electronically-based, activities to more active pursuits now has a name according to some researchers -- "videophilia." In a June 21 Reuters story, a Nature Conservancy commissioned study to be published soon in the Journal of Environmental Management found that 98% of the national decline in park visitation in recent years is due to video games, movie video rentals, going to the movie theatre,, computers, television exacerbated by a shift toward higher fuel prices. The study concludes that this trend has serious negative implications for long-term environmental stewardship. We can also immediatley see how bad it will be for human health. Read more!

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